There’s a sign outside my local Co-Op that slurs “ONE IN ONE OUT”. That’s it, just that and all the other well intentioned yet ineffective social distancing crap that shops around the land have had to employ over the last 4 months. Aisle arrows and patronising Tannoy announcements, that kind of thing. But that little instruction is what sticks out every time I visit. I know what it means to mean, of course, but it’s not what it meant to say. It’s hand written, so someone must know if they’re happy with their work. If you logically followed such a self distancing rule then the place would have been carnage: I would have been perfectly within my rights to stroll in, announcing my presence loudly, before ordering the nearest wheezing pensioner to get right the fuck out. If they refused I would have been allowed to deal with it myself and physically escort some gaunt, haggard octogenerian, or perhaps a suspiciously fat, idle teenager, out onto the pavement. Flat onto their grim faces. This is what happens if people don’t think. This is what happens when people don’t care to give things a moment of reflection.
Not that I should be snobby about my local Co-Op; they’re generally a nice bunch though there is one young chap who is far too enthusiastic for my liking – enthusiasm being a trait that can be as grating as it is invigorating. Worse than that terrible notice is that many people have suddenly become very chilled about their social necessities and I’m not sure that’s the best way to be. The overall atmosphere down at the two big supermarkets I frequent (I say ‘I’ because Wifey hasn’t been near a shop for so very long I fear she has now become addicted to the cardboard boxes dumped on our doorstep by a razor thin Latvian) has become positively cavalier and you just know it’ll come back to bite us on the arse before too long. Watching the news as I write this there is a brief interview with the owner of an LGBT nail salon, which makes me feel sidelined should I ever choose to get fake nails in an emporium where I might not be welcome. Such are the times.
Anyway, Matt Hancock is still talking out of the second half of his surname and Rishi Sunack is promising to spend more money than there is on the planet to ensure that Britain won’t become a place, further down the line, that even Mad Max might find quite challenging. The cricket is back on but with no-one to watch it, and not just because the weather is so awful that there won’t be more than a few overs a day to bother watching. The gyms will be allowed to open next week but I’ve passed the point of caring now that a lengthy, hirsute work chum has introduced me to high intensity workouts: with some resistance bands and a yoga mat I am working up more of a sweat at home than a plague victim on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar.
All that aside, the world continues to spin furiously, as nature dictates, and the stars are still all up there; possibly watched by malignant aliens who wonder if a full on intergalactic invasion is worth the effort (tip for you, Omnipotent Overlord Fantata Granatis The Mighty from the planet Handjob Spectacularis, I wouldn’t waste your time). It takes time to watch time pass and the passing of that time on this particular planet offers very few opportunities for gladness unless you stick to those ventures that make you happy. I am very happy to put my ramblings down in an effort to drain all the negative drops from my system, though I know that one look around me, one second later, will only fill that bucket up ever so slightly faster. One in one out, one out one in. When you think about it it doesn’t really make much difference; in or out we’re all our own special brand of stupid. Perhaps that Co-Op sign has a point. I’m not sure even I have a point. Live long and prosper, within a safe distance that means nothing.
G B Hewitt. 09.07.2020